The Worst Convention Ever – Part 4: Propaganda Movies
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For decades, Jehovah’s Witnesses have attended yearly multi-day assemblies, often sitting through scorching heat, fighting off sleep, attempting to take notes during an onslaught of talk after talk, all the while secretly praying for the end to come. No, not the end of the world, but the end of the assembly.

Most Witnesses faithfully endured an endless barrage of material, which was largely recycled from earlier conventions, but with a new convention theme such as “Divine Truth” or “Kingdom Loyalty”. The loyalty theme from the 1981 assembly series has been reinvented for 2016 as “Remain Loyal to Jehovah.”

One bright spot amidst an endless sea of lectures has always been the dramatic reenactments of Biblical tales, performed by local JW “actors” who attempted to lip-sync to an audio track provided by the Watchtower’s Governing Body. While tacky and exaggerated, these dramas served to break up the monotony of the assemblies, which was a welcome relief.

Whether a person is a believer in the Bible or not, the stories were often compelling and included an application for Witnesses, which they could pocket and take home with them. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a good story? If we demanded truth with all of our entertainment, movies like Star Wars and The Hobbit would have never been produced.

There is a deep emotional and psychological connection tied to theater, movies, television, and music. Since the days of Charles Taze Russell and his Photo-Drama of Creation, religious organizations have taken advantage of the power of media. With the availability of large, bright, affordable, portable displays coupled with advanced video production software, the Jehovah’s Witness organization has launched a new and improved video services department and have expanded their scope to include feature-length presentations designed to reach the emotional center of every viewer. The days of synced acting to audio recordings is now a footnote in Watchtower’s history.

Previously, JW Survey has covered many of the 3-5 minute long indoctrination videos, such as the Bunker series. In this article, we summarize and address the longer films, specifically the “Job” drama and the “Hezekiah” drama. It’s really hard to call them dramas anymore, as Watchtower has spared no cost to ensure that the highest quality production was achieved.

To be honest, I think Watchtower has realized its goal. These movies are like nothing else ever produced by this organization, and it is no wonder that the videos themselves are in fact the “new release” for 2016. That’s right folks, there are no books, no tracts, no booklets, nothing in print.  This is a fascinating transition, as Watchtower publications have always been viewed as an extension of the Bible, with one complementing the other. But video? What would Jesus say? If he were alive, would he preach using a camera and sophisticated software?

Clearly, the continual strain of producing written material year after year, followed by its distribution to tens of thousands of congregations worldwide, has taken its toll on the organization, both financially and physically. And, let’s be honest, there are less readers in the world these days and more viewers. Pushing out a data stream of videos through the JW.org website seems to be the most advantageous method of reaching the four corners of the globe, where users, even in remote villages, are obtaining tablets and smartphones.

The two dramas discussed in this article follow a long tradition for Jehovah’s Witness assemblies, that of orchestrating a dramatic presentation of a Biblical tale, complete with period costumes and driving the assembly theme home with a modern-day play, one that evokes real life circumstances. The Hezekiah drama is the former, and the Job film the latter.

 

The Job Drama

“Hope For What We Do Not See”

Plot Summary

Elena Ortiz - no_blood in ambulance

In the opening scene, a woman bleeds to death while medical personnel discover a “no blood” card

The film opens in a remote corner of Peru; an ambulance speeds frantically down an isolated stretch of highway. Inside, a paramedic wearing surgical gloves examines the identification of a female Jehovah’s Witness, Elena Ortiz (later called Carrie). The camera focuses tightly on a small card found on Elena’s person, a document which says “No Blood Transfusions Accepted”. Her husband rides with the ambulance and, as we find out later, watches his wife bleed to her death.

Immediately, we are transported to a placid beach, presumably in the United States, where Ethan Bannister explains a shooting star to his two sons, Rowan and Cory. He points out the constellation Leo, then tells the boys that Jehovah has a name for every star in the universe.

Bannister family with bibles

The Bannister Family – Proudly displaying their silver Jehovah’s Witness exclusive Bible

All is well in the Bannister world as the family enjoys time spent together in recreation, preaching, attending meetings, and even family study, where the boys act out the Biblical scene of David killing the giant Goliath.

But the paradise soon begins to crumble. Ethan’s worldly supervisor Conrad breaks the news that Ethan must choose between losing his job or taking a promotion at an associated plant – a job offer which includes a raise – along with the drawback of an almost 2 hour commute each way and overtime.  It’s promotion or deletion, and Ethan chooses deletion.

Next, Ethan’s father Nathaniel reveals that Ethan’s brother Bill has contacted him, and Nathaniel reveals that he has some doubts about the way he raised his sons, particularly since Bill was never baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

“You’ve got to understand son, you both are my boys,” says Nathaniel.

death of Nathaniel and Cory

Cory and Nathaniel are killed in a tragic auto accident

The real tragedy unfolds when Nathaniel picks up his grandsons, Rowan and Cory, from school but never makes it home; Nathaniel and Cory are instantly killed in a horrific accident. The Hollywood-esque style funeral takes place on a somber rainy day, inside a Kingdom Hall where mortified Jehovah’s Witnesses turn pages in their Silver Edition Bible. Ethan’s non-JW brother Bill is missing from the Kingdom Hall but shows up at Ethan’s home later to offer support and financial assistance.

Ethan attempts to comfort his son Rowan, who asks, “How can Jehovah let this happen?” Ethan answers by saying that there is no one to blame and that they will see Cory again.

The tragedies continue to pile on; unemployed Ethan next receives the news that he has cancer and must undergo immediate radiation treatments. The bills are stacking up when Ethan’s non-JW brother Bill arrives, once again, offering flowers and an explanation for why he never became a Jehovah’s Witness. Bill says that their father Nathaniel wanted him to be someone he wasn’t, and he suggests that Ethan no longer needs to be a Witness since Nathaniel is deceased. Bill reveals that the religion ruined his relationship with their father and that Ethan just played along with Dad all these years to keep the family together.

A fight ensues; Bill reminds Ethan that he has no money, he is drowning in debt, and he does not even have a job. He tells Ethan to “grow up” and take care of his family. “You can’t live on these prayers and fantasies forever,” says Bill, while Ethan rejects yet another offer for financial assistance.

Ethan’s woes continue as he is hospitalized for the removal of a tumor. Once home, he receives a visit from his childhood friend Victor, who has returned to the area and offers to help repair Ethan’s storm damaged roof. Victor mentions that the elder body needs Ethan and that they would even lighten the load for him, but Ethan reveals he has deeper issues at the moment.

The attention next shifts to Ethan’s wife Sasha, who finally breaks down under all the stress and cries when a mother, at school, attempts to comfort her.  The woman’s words haunt her: “Everything happens for a reason.”  Sasha argues with Ethan over his lack of communication with her and storms away from the dinner table.

In a surprise twist, Ethan breaks down and locates his former supervisor Conrad, hoping to get his job back but finds that the plant has closed, and Conrad himself is looking for work. This moment of weakness opens the door for Conrad, who tells Ethan that his dad was killed in the first Gulf War, just two days before his scheduled return. Conrad states that he begged God to bring his dad home; instead, an explosive device killed him.

conrad and ethan

Conrad tells Ethan: “Prayer – there’s nobody listenin’. And if there is a God, he doesn’t have time for us.”

At this point, Ethan and his family have hit rock bottom and have even ceased attending meetings. A visit from 2 elders ensues, where Sasha reveals her guilt for asking her father-in-law to pick up the boys the day of the accident.  One of the elders directs Sasha to read Ecclesiastes, chapter 9, verse 11, “just part B” – which states “because time and unexpected events overtake them all.”  These words fall deaf on Ethan, who says, “I know no one caused it, but no one stopped it either.” When the younger of the two Witnesses says, “I know it’s been tough,” Ethan lashes back and asks him how he knows this and what he knows about burying his father and son on the same day. Ethan walks away, and says, “I’m done.”

In the next scene, Victor returns, with his pickup truck and tools, ready to repair Ethan’s roof. Before he begins, he explains that he had previously been a “need-greater” in Peru, but when his circumstances changed he moved to New Mexico to help a congregation while trying to “stay focused.” Victor then invites Ethan to visit his parent’s cabin in the woods. The two men reconnect under the idyllic setting of a rushing stream, picturesque cabin, and miles of hiking trails. Ethan notices a photo on Victor’s smartphone and asks who the woman is. Victor says she was Carrie, his wife. He explains that, while serving in the ministry in Peru, everything changed when Carrie was killed in the accident mentioned at the outset of this plot summary.  Ethan is emotionally affected by this and asks Victor, “How did you cope?” Victor replies, “I just find a beautiful quiet spot, and I pray.” Victor manages to restore Ethan’s faith in prayer and hope for the future, and the two men walk away, cathartically regenerated. Ethan reconnects with Sasha, then with his son, Rowan.

The pendulum begins to swing in the opposite direction for Ethan as he returns to his doctor, who informs him that his cancer is in remission. On the heels of this news, we find that Ethan is suddenly back to work, back to the meetings (as an elder), and completely medication free. As if his regenerated life were not enough, his brother Bill finds a Jehovah’s Witness tract in his door and thoughtfully contemplates the message. Meanwhile, Sasha’s fellow school-mom, also, accepts a Witness tract entitled, “Can the Dead Really Live Again?”

This theme continues into the family Bible reading as Rowan reads from the book of Job, chapter 14:

“If a man dies, can he live again?

I will wait all the days of my compulsory service

Until my relief comes”

the end

The story ends with the following narrative, also taken from Scripture, this time from Romans chapter 8, verse 24:

“For we were saved in this hope; but hope that is seen is not hope, for when a man sees a thing, does he hope for it? But if we hope for what we do not see, we keep eagerly waiting for it with endurance.”

 

 

The Hezekiah Drama

“Oh Jehovah, I Trust in You”

The period drama opens in Jerusalem, in the year 732 B.C.E.  Like the Job drama, the opening scene is a flashback, this time to the event where Judean King Hezekiah spreads out the demands of Assyrian King Sennacherib at the steps of the gold lined temple, along with a prayer to God for salvation, with a request that all nations know that Jehovah is the True God.

destruction of Samaria

Assyrians invade and destroy Samaria

Again we flash back, this time 8 years further, to 740 B.C.E. where the northern Israelite kingdom of Samaria is brutally decimated by the Assyrian army. One Israelite soldier manages to escape by removing the uniform of a dead Assyrian. He flees on foot all the way to Jerusalem, where he is brought before King Hezekiah and his military advisers. We encounter Hezekiah in the streets of Jerusalem, recounting the tale of David and Goliath to several young boys. The boys recite the Biblical tale with great enthusiasm, including the part of the story where David slings a stone of death into Goliath’s head, which he then cuts off with his sword.

Then, a little girl approaches Hezekiah carrying a young turtle-dove, which can’t fly, so the King tells the girl to keep it close and warm, and makes her promise not to keep the bird locked up in a cage, but when it is able to fly, set it free.

Back in Hezekiah’s chambers, the Samarian refugee Joel is introduced to Jaziel (with the Army) along with advisers Eliakim and Shebna. Also included in the inner circle is Isaiah the prophet.  Joel describes the brutality of the Assyrians, who hacked off hands, arms and heads en route to their conquest, even skinning alive the leading men of the city. Joel breaks down after describing the loss of his wife and all his children.

Isaiah

Isaiah blames the Samarian destruction on idol worship

Behind closed doors, arguments arise over the correct strategy to follow, in light of the Assyrian conquest. Isaiah reminds everyone that Samaria fell, not because of lack of tribute to Assyria, but because the Samaritans were worshiping false gods, and Jehovah foretold and permitted the destruction on that basis.

Shebna wishes to enlist the help of Egypt against the Assyrians, but Isaiah strongly objects, citing prior failed alliances with foreign nations.

Meanwhile … in the Assyrian capital of Nineveh, Sennacherib continues his brutal reign. Then, he is informed that Hezekiah has refused to pay tribute to Assyria and has further infuriated the king by conquering Philistine cities and unlawfully imprisoning the king of Ekron, Padi.

Just seven years after Samaria’s destruction, the Assyrian armies are threatening, and Hezekiah is advised that Lachish, just South of Jerusalem, will likely be the next target. Shebna again mentions an alliance with Egypt, but again Hezekiah refuses.  The chief of the army suggests a strategy of defense, which includes the building of a 2nd wall around Jerusalem, as well as constructing a tunnel to bring water from outside the protective wall inside the city, to the pool of Siloam.  Hezekiah then states that Jehovah will fight the battle for them.

As walls and weapons are under construction, the imprisoned King of Ekron asks to speak with Hezekiah. King Padi demands to be released, claiming that he can influence Sennacherib and help the Judeans. Hezekiah refuses, calling Padi a “contemptible worm.”  Padi reminds Hezekiah of the brutality that awaits Judah if they continue to ignore the Assyrian king.

A discouraged Hezekiah retreats to Isaiah’s inner chambers, where the prophet tells him “these are critical times.” The king begins to doubt his rebellion against Assyria, but Isaiah reminds him that his father was a puppet in Assyria’s hands. He reminds Hezekiah that he needs to trust in Jehovah, as he has already done by pulling down the places of false worship and repairing and reopening the temple. Still, Hezekiah laments the destruction of other cities in Judah, feeling responsible for their lives.  Isaiah, however, blames the demise of these Judeans on their own unfaithfulness, implying that due to their “half-hearted” spirituality, Jehovah has allowed their destruction.

Next, we are transported to the city of Lachish, where the Assyrians unleash all of their weapons in a full scale attack on the city just south of Jerusalem.  As Lachish falls, Hezekiah’s advisers again suggest an alliance with Egypt and the payment of tribute to the Assyrian king. In a moment of compromise, Hezekiah sends a delegation to the Assyrian army to negotiate an agreement. This move is a costly one, as the Assyrians demand far more gold and silver than the ambassadors can agree to, and they further call for the release of Ekron’s king Padi.

padi

Hezekiah watches Jerusalem’s gold, and his prisoner, King Padi, disappear

Forced to comply, workers gather an immense tribute of gold and silver, even chopping off the solid gold veneers of the temple doors. Adding insult to injury, Hezekiah watches as the valuable things of Jerusalem disappear on a wagon with haughty king Padi. When the tribute finally reaches Sennacherib, the king taunts the Judean emissary, asking him why Hezekiah agreed to pay the tribute, if Jehovah was their protector. The Assyrian king screams that he cannot be bought and that he tolerates no rebellion.

Military forces advance on Jerusalem. Hezekiah sends Eliakim and Shebna and a recorder to meet the Assyrian representatives. Rabshakeh speaks loudly and clearly in Hebrew, despite pleas that he speak in Aramaic. But Rabshakeh has no intention of making his declarations private, shouting to the men on the wall that Jerusalem’s inhabitants will eat their own excrement and drink their own urine if they continue to listen to Hezekiah. Surrender is demanded; Rabshakeh correctly points out that all other opposing cities have fallen before Assyria, including those which worship the God Jehovah.

Shebna breaks down in tears in a last minute appeal to the king to listen to reason and understand that Jerusalem is trapped, like a bird in a cage.  As a final measure, Hezekiah calls for the wisdom of Isaiah one last time. Isaiah declares that Sennacherib will be the victim of a conspiracy and die by the sword in his own land, Assyria.

We return to the opening scene of this drama, where Hezekiah appeals to God in prayer before the temple. He lays out the taunts of the Assyrian king before the temple and waits for God’s answer. Isaiah sends a messenger to declare the words of Jehovah himself–that he has taken notice of Assyria–and will now take action against Sennacherib, figuratively leading him by the nose back to his land before ending his life.

angel2a

The lone angel unleashes divine judgment on 185,000 Assyrians

Seconds later, in the dead of night, a lone angel appears above the Assyrian camp; with the sound of thunder and the golden flash of electric execution, the angel swipes the encampment with a single deadly flash, slashing 185,000 soldiers in their sleep. The next morning Sennacherib wakes up to the shocking scene of corpses surrounding him as far as the eye can see. One woman, along with a guard, survey the destruction in disbelief.  Nothing is left but smoldering campfires, useless weapons, and the bodies of those eliminated by God.

sennacherib

Sennacherib is forced to acknowledge Jehovah, at the expense of 185,000 lives

Back in Jerusalem, the news has reached the Hezekiah, and it’s all smiles and congratulations for the Judean king and his associates as the story comes to an end. We see the former encampment of Assyria–along with desolation and eerie peace– with no signs of life but the birds of prey circling in the distance, a subtle nod to the God who fattens the bodies of raptors with remnants of human life.

 

The concluding words of this drama are emblazoned across the screen:

“Jehovah rescues those who are loyal to him” 

 

The Films Analyzed

While the contents of the “bunker” series of videos contains programming which, on the surface, is very controversial and overtly manipulative, these longer films engage the viewer in a much more subtle way than expected. The Biblical character of Job is mirrored by modern day Ethan, who, like Job, has a family, a job, and is in good health. His life is proceeding according to plan when “time and unexpected events” cause him to question everything he knows, and his life spirals into a spiritual and physical quagmire.

Ethan is expected to keep it all together amidst the loss of his son, his father, his job, even the respect of his wife. In the fairy tale style ending, Ethan’s health is restored, he receives a new job, and he has renewed faith that he will see his son and father once again in a future resurrection.  While this is a fictional story, we still must ask: Did loyalty to Jehovah have any bearing on Ethan’s recovery? Are Jehovah’s Witnesses suggesting that by remaining loyal to God and his earthly organization, good things will happen?

This might seem to be the case, but what really happened here? Ethan’s son and father are dead, and Jehovah did indeed permit this to happen. His job vanished when he needed it the most, when diagnosed with cancer. His worldly brother reached out to him with support and money, but he rejected this support because his brother decided at a very young age to leave the religion. His boss offered him a promotion as a solution to his impending layoff, but Ethan rejected this as well. It seems that the only people willing to lend practical assistance were non-Jehovah’s Witnesses.

While the implication is that reliance and loyalty to God lead to favorable outcomes, the hard truth of life is that the unfavorable outcomes will always follow, and we are left with the same questions and problems with which we started out. Maybe worse. We could write our own extension of this drama:  Ethan’s cancer is in remission, but it will return. “Impure” thoughts will plague his son Rowan, and he will be disfellowshipped when he has sex with a non-Witness girl from school. Sasha will have a subsequent mental breakdown and will be treated with antidepressants. Ethan’s brother Bill will not respond to the invitation to attend Witness meetings, and they will almost never see each other. This will tear the family apart. The organization offers little comfort, despite producing a motivational video about the modern-day equivalent of Job.  And we are right back to where we started!

In the Bible, Satan tests Job with permission from God. Satan is allowed to kill Job’s sons and daughters, as well as his livestock (means for living). A debilitating disease troubles Job, which causes immense suffering, but since his own life is to be spared, he must endure this tribulation.  All of this was, as the Bible admits, a clever social experiment worked out in heaven, with Job playing the leading role as a pawn in a chess game, which he never asked to play. Why? God needed to prove something to Satan and the universe, to answer Satan’s “taunt” that humans would not serve God without reward.

At the very core of Jehovah’s Witness belief is the notion that God has allowed intense suffering and death for thousands of years to prove that only He can rule mankind. Humans are incapable of governing themselves, and the allowance of evil for so long is, in fact, a necessary evil. The Job drama highlights that all other reasonings are invalid, and that those who feel disconnected from God due to tragedy within their own lives are faithless amoral people, like Ethan’s boss Conrad, who said:

“Prayer – there’s nobody listenin’. And if there is a God, he doesn’t have time for us.”

This film dips deeply into the emotional well of the viewer, exposing the modern-day Jehovah’s Witness family to devastating tragedy, then flipping the script, turning hopelessness into unbridled optimism. Defenders of the JW religion might suggest that hope is a good thing–but unrealistic hope for a fairy tale ending is anything but healthy. When a death occurs, Jehovah’s Witnesses replace the normal grieving process with a 30 minute sermon at a Kingdom Hall followed by the song “He Will Call”–a tear jerking reminder that the only life worth anything is the one which no one has ever lived, in a place called the “new world” where only Jehovah’s Witnesses reside.

How do Witnesses make it into this “New World”? This is where the Hezekiah drama delivers the logistics.  The short answer? Violence.

The tale of Hezekiah is filled with acts of aggression, terror, fear, political maneuvering, propaganda, and, of course, death. Lots and lots of death. While mainstream Christian religions debate the veracity of allegorical stories found in Scripture, Jehovah’s Witnesses stand firm in their belief that every Biblical account is true, from the mass drowning of Noah’s day to the future fiery apocalypse of Armageddon. In between, we have the execution of 185,000 Assyrian soldiers with the powerful swipe of a single angel.

Since Jehovah’s Witnesses are Biblical literalists, the God they worship is guilty of far more genocide than any other God worshiped by the thousands of religions of the world. Perhaps there is a small degree of comfort in the knowledge that no archaeologist has ever uncovered a shred of evidence supporting the mass killing of 185,000 soldiers outside the walls of Jerusalem.

burial

While ancient bodies are recovered regularly throughout Israel, like this one found in Caesarea, no evidence has ever been found of the 185,000 soldiers miraculously killed by one angel

One reason Witnesses identify so readily with the Hezekiah story is that he was considered a faithful and loyal Judean king, with some historical evidence suggesting he did,in fact, exist. To this day, the tunnel connecting the spring of Gihon with the pool of Siloam still exists, although some dispute the claim that Hezekiah engineered this tunnel. Adding to this questionable provenance is the fact that the JW timeline for king Hezekiah does not match evidence from other historical sources. Witnesses almost never fact-check statements made by their organization, such as the claim that Assyria wiped out Samaria in 740 B.C.E., or that Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians in 607 B.C.E.

Historical evidence aside, the focus of the drama is placed squarely on the narrative that Hezekiah remained loyal to God and accepted Isaiah’s advice to lean on Jehovah instead of foreign nations.  Loyalty is a recurring theme among Jehovah’s Witnesses, where organizational loyalty itself is synonymous with loyalty to God. Witnesses are taught never to lean on their own understanding, knowledge, or resources, just as Hezekiah was told not to lean on Egypt, and Ethan refused to take assistance from his “worldly” brother and boss in the Job drama.

For Witnesses, separation from the world is imperative. They often refer to the barrier between the outside world and their religion as a fence; a fence which should never be straddled. The Hezekiah story reinforces the Witness belief that it is “us against the world” and that we need to stay safe inside the walls of metaphorical Jerusalem, pray to God, and wait for salvation to come. Alliances with non-Witness organizations and family are discouraged or banned. Information is controlled.  Behavior is controlled. Thoughts are polarized, filtering out all outside reasoning. Finally, Emotions are controlled with the written page, with music, and now with high-definition films.

After viewing these videos, you will likely be impressed by the quality of the production and the lengths to which the JW Governing Body has gone to deliver a message where false hope and Godly vengeance converge. As long as there are men interpreting pages from a book and translating these words into doctrine, people will follow, and they will believe what they are told. Perhaps one day, they will recognize that their loyalty is misplaced.

SN: To view the 2016 Convention video trailers, click here.

To view the full-length videos (and talk outlines/videos for the entire convention) click here.

 

Editors note: Please be sure to view video #4 in the 6 part series discussing the 2016 Regional Assembly of Jehovah’s Witnesses, courtesy of the John Cedars channel.

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228 Responses to The Worst Convention Ever – Part 4: Propaganda Movies

  1. Eyes opened says:

    There has been mention of offering children as burnt sacrifices. Jehovah asking for the firstborn as a burnt sacrifice I believe is figurative. However according to Josephus, Jephthah did indeed offer his daughter as a literal burnt sacrifice. This was not at God’s bidding. Earlier verses show Jehovah had already given Jephthah his spirit. The battle was already Jephthah’s to win. Jephthah’s associates were considered good for nothing men who may have been accustomed to child sacrifice. Jephthah made what is considered a rash vow. He did not consult the high priest who may have prevented him from such a vow. At any rate it wasn’t necessary because Jehovah had already promised him the battle. Just because Jehovah kept his word to Jephthah doesn’t mean he approved of Jephthah sacrificing his daughter. Jephthah is considered a man of faith, probably only for trusting Jehovah for the victory. In Ezekiel chapter 20 where Jehovah says he let them offer child sacrifice still doesn’t mean he approved. Haven’t we all known someone where we’ve said just let him do what he’s going to do, even though we know it’s a bad idea? BTW I did my research in the “Works of Josephus”. Huge book but the index and table of contents make research fairly easy.

    Regards

    • wizzstick says:

      [Quote: In Ezekiel chapter 20 where Jehovah says he let them offer child sacrifice still doesn’t mean he approved. Haven’t we all known someone where we’ve said just let him do what he’s going to do, even though we know it’s a bad idea?]

      This is God. He is articulate. If he can stop Abraham from sacrificing his son, then he could have stopped Jephthah.

      You’re trying to excuse the inexcusable.

    • Caroline says:

      Eyes opened, the King James says that it was Jehovah who gave them statutes that that were not good and ordinances that they should not live and it was Jehovah who polluted them in their gifts in that they caused to pass through the fire all that opened the womb that Jehovah could make them desolate so that they would know Jehovah.

      The Society inserted the word “let” into those scriptures. What you need to do is read that account at Ezekiel 20:25,26 in other Bibles. The Society has an agenda when they change words in the Bible.

      Also read 2nd Kings 18:22,23, where Rabshakeh is saying to Hezekiah, talking about Jehovah “is he not the one whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has removed, while he says to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘Before this altar you should bow down in Jerusalem?'”

      If you read those accounts in 2nd Kings before you get to Hezekiah, it says that the nations were fearing Jehovah but the Israelites were not because the Israelites weren’t following Jehovah’s commands and were offering their sons and daughters in the fire.

      Can you make sense of that? I can’t and if you can explain it to me, I am all ears.

      • Dennis Gilman says:

        You’re not “all ears”! You will ignore anything said and any evidence that contradicts anything you believe.

        • Caroline says:

          Dennis, what is the evidence that I am ignoring? Please inform me before you decide that I am not “all ears” and so I can “ignore” it before you decide that I am going to ignore it before hearing the evidence. I read the Bible just the same as you do so please tell me where I am wrong.

          • MJ Bachman says:

            Denis was joking. Its what the GB says. Doesnt matter what you find in the bible that disproves them. Its their way or the highway.

  2. Caroline says:

    Eyes opened, you are probably reading from the New World Translation which reads “And I myself also “let” them have regulations that were not good and judicial decisions by which they could not keep living. And I would let them become defiled by their gifts when they made every child opening the womb pass through the fire, in order that I might make them desolate, in order that they might know that I am Jehovah.”

    This is what the King James says: “Moreover also I gave them statutes that were not good, and ordinances wherein they should not live; and I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am Jehovah.” (Ezekiel 20:25,26)

    The Watchtower changed the beginning of those scriptures to say that Jehovah let them or allowed them to have regulations that were not good and judicial decisions by which they could not keep living but the King James says it was Jehovah who gave them bad regulations and ordinances they they could not live and the King James says it was Jehovah who “polluted” them in their gifts in that they caused to pass through the fire all that opened the womb”.

    Do you see the difference in the wording? The New World Translation takes passages like these and makes Jehovah not look so bad by rewording the Bible just as they did with the case of Jephthah’s daughter not being killed when she really was.

    If Jephthah really killed his daughter, then why make the Bible word like he didn’t kill her? Why not tell the truth about it?

    The reason is that the Society knows that most people would be repulsed by such a man being called faithful.

    The Society has an agenda when it comes to making Jehovah look like a good god and had a good reason for killing all those defenseless people. They were wicked? Why were they wicked? Did they have the law from Jehovah like the Israelites did? If Jehovah had never given them the law, then why would they be called sinners against Jehovah and deserved to be destroyed?

    Think about this too. Those Israelites supposedly left Egypt as slaves, right? How did those slaves own all those animals and houses while in Egypt and where did they get all those swords that they went into those cities and killed all those people with, if they were lowly slaves? In order to own animals, you need to feed them which means they owned land and cropped them. Where would those slaves have the money to own all those houses that they splashed the blood on?

    If you were to add up all the people that they killed or Jehovah ordered them to kill, it would amount to over two million people. Those people in Canaan already were in Canaan when Abraham went there in Genesis. Why is that now, God says those people didn’t have a right to be there and because of that, they all deserved to be hacked to death with swords? There is nothing in the Bible that indicates that those people got hacked to death because they were wicked but it was because the Israelites went in there to take their land because their God Jehovah told them to do it.

    In the movie this summer by the Society about Hezekiah, the Society conveniently leaves out these two scriptures at 2 Kings 18:22,23 where Rabshakeh is saying to Hezekiah: “And in case you men should say to me, ‘It is Jehovah our God in whom we have put our trust, is he not the one whose high places and whose alters Hezekiah has removed, while he says to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘Before this alter you should bow down in Jerusalem?'” Rabshakeh is saying that the high places that Hezekiah removed were the alters to Jehovah.

    Keep in mind also that 2 Kings 18:4 tells about Hezekiah being the one good king and that was because he tore down the copper serpent that Moses had made in the wilderness and that was a good thing that Hezekiah had done in regards to that copper serpent but wasn’t it Jehovah who told Moses to make that Serpent?

    When the early Bible writers wrote the Bible, they didn’t have in mind of the perfect God that we today think of a perfect god. To those people, it seemed reasonable that that God could wipe out entire populations just because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    So what people do today when they read those Bible passages, is they make excuses for that God of 4,000 years ago like saying that Jehovah didn’t accept Jephthah’s daughter as a burnt sacrifice and it was a rash decision for Jephthah to make that vow but Jehovah did accept that vow. He could have stopped Jephthah from killing his daughter like he stopped Abraham from killing Isaac and yes, those people really did kill their children to those gods and the Bible is to believed that the Israelites did it too.

    • Big B says:

      @ Caroline & Eyesopened, et als

      “And I myself also “let” them have regulations that were not good and judicial decisions by which they could not keep living. And I would let them become defiled by their gifts when they made every child opening the womb pass through the fire, in order that I might make them desolate, in order that they might know that I am Jehovah.”

      Respectfully, the problem comes from our 21st century understanding and interpretation of the word “Let”. Our definition of the word “Let”, which as seen below, has over time changed from “hinder” to our new definition: transitive verb 1. to cause to : make

      Original definition shown below
      http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/let

      Origin and Etymology of let
      Middle English letten, from Old English lettan to delay, hinder; akin to Old High German lezzen to delay, hurt, Old English lǣt late

      First Known Use: before 12th century

      2let
      noun

      Simple Definition of let
      tennis : a serve that is not accepted or allowed officially and must be done again

      Source: Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary
      Full Definition of let
      1
      : something that impedes : obstruction
      2
      : a shot or point in racket games that does not count and must be replayed

      As the Authorized Version of the Bible (King James) was written not long after the colonization of Jamestown, Virginia, I propose that the word “LET” meant to ‘hinder or prevent’ not ‘allow’ as that was the definition used in the time of King James I of England back during the 17th century.
      With that information does that not change the understanding of the quoted text?

      When the meaning of “LET” totally did a complete 180 from ‘prevent or hinder’ to ‘allow’ would be a great paper for an college English paper!

      Just my 2 cents worth. 🙂

      • Caroline says:

        @Big B, the King James didn’t use the word let. It was the New World Translation that put that word in and the reason the Watchtower did that was for the meaning of allowing. In other words, it wasn’t Jehovah’s idea which is an entirely different meaning than the King James. The message the NWT is trying to convey is “allowed” them to burn their kids.

        Not to be nitpicking but why all the fuss over burning a few kids at Numbers chapter 31 when Jehovah ordered the slaughtering of hundreds of thousands of those little girls’ families to end up with 32,000 virgin girls that they saved over for themselves?

        • jwreality says:

          @Caroline Ive gone over numerous articles and comments on this site over the past few weeks and you seem to visit this site exclusively to either side track the topic in order to trash scripture, or play some sort of home version of the faithful slave. You clearly have some complex happening and although i agree with many of your comments, they are clearly violations of the supposed posting guidelines of the site.

          Just when something useful is coming about through the testimony of people coming out of this religion, you jump in with an “oh, by the way the bible…..” and side track the subject completely. Show some self control for the greater good.

    • Dennis Gilman says:

      Pardon me, but I have distrusted the KJV from I first read it. It is full of mistranslated and was done from manuscripts edited by the clergy.

      • Caroline says:

        Dennis, there is no way that any Bible is “inspired” of God. All we have are copies of copies and interpretations of interpretations. They didn’t have printing presses thousands of years ago and everybody who copied the Bible had an agenda. Even the Bible says the Bible can’t be trusted because of the “lying pen of the scribes” (Jeremiah 8:8).

  3. Eyes opened says:

    @Caroline and Big B,

    Thank you both for the input. I definitely need to look at other translations and look into this more. Just for the record I am no defender of the org even though I will use their materials for research. I am very open to other sources for research. Absolutely the org has an agenda and it can be difficult to recognize at times. Thank goodness this site offers alternative lines of reasoning so we can be presented with info to draw conclusions based on reasoning and facts.

    As for Jehovah stopping Jephthah, yes he could have. But once again free will comes into question. To compare Abraham and Jephthah, as Wizzstick did, is not comparing apples to apples. At any rate both men had a choice to make and both had to accept the consequences of those choices. Did God accept Jephthah’s sacrifice just because he allowed it to take place? I don’t believe the Bible indicates that he favored it. Perhaps more research. Again thanks for the input.

    Regards

    • Caroline says:

      Eyes opened, you are right about apples to apples. In one case (Abraham), Jehovah asked Abraham to sacrifice his son and in the 2nd case (Jephthah), it was Jephthah’s idea to kill and burn his daughter to Jehovah.

      If you heard a voice that claimed to be Jehovah and that voice told you that you had to kill your child and give it to him as a burnt sacrifice to him, would you do it?

      Andrea Yates did that and she’s in prison for killing all five of her children. Should she be considered a great person for being so obedient to her God for doing that?

      The fact that Abraham was willing to do that for his God Jehovah, shows that Abraham was accustomed Jehovah being worshiped in that way or else he would have said to the voice “go away from me!”.

      That is what a “normal” person would say to a voice that claimed to be God. It is the crazy person who would kill his child because he heard a voice that claimed to be God.

      The fact that our Bible says that Jehovah’s angel stopped him from killing Isaac, doesn’t negate the fact that Abraham was willing to kill his child as a burnt sacrifice to Jehovah. If he thought ahead of time that Jehovah was not going to let him kill Isaac, then what kind of obedience was it in the first place?

      There is nothing in the Hebrew scriptures that indicate that Abraham believed in the resurrection like the Greek scriptures say. Some Bibles indicate that Abraham did kill Isaac.

      As far as Jephthah goes, while it was his idea to offer up the first thing that came out of his house as a burnt sacrifice when he got home, it could have been his wife. If it had been his wife, would she have gone to the temple for the rest of her life?

      The Watchtower likes to indicate that Jephthah’s daughter went to the temple and never got married and that was the sacrifice but the Bible clearly says that Jephthah carried out his vow so he did kill her and burnt her up as a sacrifice to Jehovah for Jehovah helping him win all those wars against all those cities in the killing of all those people.

      If you believe that Jehovah didn’t accept Jephthah’s sacrifice, why is that a big deal when you consider all those thousands upon thousands of men, women and children that Jephthah killed in those wars? What is that one person to Jehovah, compared to all those other people that Jehovah helped Jephthah murder? Clearly, it was Jehovah’s spirit that helped Jephthah kill all those “other” people. Why should it bother people so much to think that Jephthah killed his daughter? What about all those other people? Aren’t their deaths important to you?

      Why not let the Bible speak for itself? The Watchtower changed that account to indicate that Jephthah did not offer up his daughter as a burnt sacrifice? Why would they do that? Why not just stick to the facts and not make up an alternative ending to that story?

      The fact that the Bible says later that Jephthah was a man of faith, says that Jehovah did indeed accept Jephthah’s sacrifice of his daughter.

      There is nothing in the Bible to indicate that Jehovah wasn’t approving of his sacrifice either.

      What the Bible does say is that when a person makes a vow to Jehovah, that they have to keep that vow (unless you are a female of course, when their vow could be overruled by the male in their life).

      • Chantal says:

        Wikipedia has some interesting thoughts on the matter. Including the possibility of a temple life as opposed to burnt sacrifice. Not trying to condone WT in any way, just food for thought.

    • Winston Smith says:

      Eyes opened,
      I have an app for my smart phone called Bible Gateway that gives me access to about 30 translations at once. Great for doing comparisons.

      WS

      • Eyes opened says:

        @WS
        Thanks, good to know…another great resource I’ve found is E -Sword.

        Regards

  4. dee2 says:

    Caroline,

    >>>>>”……yes, those people really did kill their children to those gods and the Bible is to believed that the Israelites did it too.”

    The reason for this is that Israelite religion grew out of Canaanite religion. The Israelites did not start out as monotheists as the WT claims but rather, monotheism was a progression over time over the following periods:
    – Patriarchs (Late Bronze Age)
    – Judges (Iron Age I)
    – Monarchy, united and divided (Iron Age II)
    – Babylonian Exile (586-539 BCE)
    – Post-exilic Persian Era (539-332 BCE)

    According to
    http://www.jwstudies.com/GOD_in_the_beginning.pdf :

    “Israel’s religious history is NOT a fight to restore an original monotheism. The Israelite religion did not fall out of the sky fully formed. Their religious beliefs and the outcomes of those beliefs were shaped by the environment. They were not formed in a vacuum.

    Influence of the monotheistic idea is not attested to before the 9th century BCE. The worship of “Yahweh-alone” is the cause of a small group only. The “purest form of Yahwehism” belonged to the late monarchy, not to an early stage of Israel’s history.

    The Hebrew Bible is “revisionist history”, a “minority report”. Those responsible for gathering and editing this material would have been deliberately selective in what they included, therefore providing us with a skewed view of Israel’s past.”

    • Winston Smith says:

      And it is my understanding that the Hebrew Bible did not exist in its current form until after the return from Babylonian Exile.

      WS

  5. Mara Proctor says:

    I was thinking of the Bible verse that says ‘with someone loyal, you will act in loyalty ‘. In other words, you have to earn loyalty. Any organization that has sacrificed the safety of children by trying to avoid scandal and monetary loss by protecting pedophiles has NOT earned my loyalty or anyone else’s.

  6. l says:

    the elders from the hall did provide material support to the family in the form of donations from bros and sisters to help with expenses.

    • Caroline says:

      @I to your comment that “the elders did provide material support in the form of donations from brothers and sister to help with expenses”

      My husband just died of Cancer in March of this year and before he died, he had three chemotherapy treatments. When we went to the hospital for his chemotherapy, the nurse told us that chemotherapy is so expensive that the hospitals don’t prepare it until the patient actually shows up for their treatment so I asked how expensive the chemotherapy is and she said that some are $125,000.00 for just one treatment.

      I didn’t have any idea how expensive chemo is but most people go through chemo treatments for several months before they might experience a remission of their cancer.

      In the United States, if a person quits a good job and then has to go to the doctor and find out that they have cancer, just one visit to the doctor can be over $500.00 and then for the tests to find out you have cancer and then treatments with chemo, the costs will be hundreds of thousands of dollars.

      My husband was old enough to have medicare so we ended up only paying about $4,000 out of pocket for his doctor’s bills and hospital stays but all in all, if we didn’t have insurance, our bills would have been hundreds of thousands of dollars.

      When that video said that the congregation was helping that family with expenses, it was not telling the truth. In real life, a person that had quit his job and then got cancer, would be flat out of luck when it comes to going to a doctor and getting treatments. There is no way that brothers and sisters helping out with “expenses” could even touch the expenses that family would have had to deal with and why should the congregation have to make up for the costs of his treatments and helping that family to survive? I’d be angry if I was in a congregation and some idiot quit his job and then he ran into all those expenses and expect me to give up my money to help him when he voluntarily quit his job. If he had lost his job through no fault of his own, then I’d do what I could to help out but where was Jehovah in helping them out? Where is the Society when helping that family out?

      The first thing the hospital wants to know is if you have insurance or not. If you don’t have insurance and you can pay cash, they won’t take you.

      That movie was out of touch with reality and I will bet that when the Witnesses walk out of the assembly after seeing it, they will be crying and then be putting all their “trust” in Jehovah and quitting perfectly good jobs so they can pioneer. It’s when they do actually come down with cancer is when they see just how stupid it was to quit a perfectly good job with insurance just because of a sappy movie like the Society is showing at the assemblies this summer.

      My oldest daughter is a regular pioneer (70 hours a month) and she has just put in her notice to quit her job because her work won’t give her the hours that she wants so she can pioneer. She hates her job but now she says she wants to get a part-time job to replace her 40 hour a week job.

      She is living in never-never land and she will always be living in never-never land until she dies or quits the cult and this a girl that is $8,000.00 in credit card debt!!!

      That is how crazy her thinking is. She really does believe that if she does Jehovah’s will, that Jehovah will dump just the right kind of job in her lap. She won’t even go and look for a job. She thinks Jehovah will just dump it in her lap because she’s doing Jehovah’s “will”.

      I was there too for fifty years. I believed that hype too. I just wished there was some way to get through to her but she refuses to listen to me. To her, anything that discourages her from doing what she does in the service to Jehovah, is like Satan whispering in her ear.

      • fallingangel75 says:

        @ Caroline. Please note that my comments below are not to contradict yours. My family had excellent insurance and deep pockets and still finding the money for cancer treatment was a challenge!

        We had many resources available to us that a lot of people in the U.S. do not. Healthcare is in crisis here. This is also not unique to Witnesses.

        The system is dysfunctional. We were privileged to have access to money and programs that many Americans don’t. And also friends from the congregation helped.

        We most certainly could not have survived on the help provide by the congregation alone.

        It is unrealistic to think so.

    • John Redwood says:

      to I

      We appreciate your comment, but if you notice from the movie, the first persons to step in with assistance were Ethan’s “worldly” brother, and his “worldly” boss. His brother offered money immediately, and his boss offered a promotion in the midst of all the layoffs. Ethan could have relocated his family to the location of the new job and kept his employment as well as his health insurance. Instead he stubbornly believed he was “relying on Jehovah” by refusing the assistance of those who were trying to help.

      As for the elders supplying help, it came to little too late. In that scenario, you must also understand that the JWs who donated money were doing so out of their own personal kindness, not because the organization is charitable in any way. In fact, Jehovah’s Witnesses as an organization are not charitable at all. They would never write a check to help such a person, or sanction a congregation to donate funds to a person such as Ethan. Individual kindness is a hallmark of good people, and there are may good persons among Jehovah’s Witnesses. This is not because they are Witnesses, it is because they are genuinely good people regardless of the religion they have chosen or were born into.

      The material support provided in that envelope from the elders is no different from what any other church would have done to support a member in their time of need.

      JR

      • fallingangel75 says:

        I really appreciate this comment JR. Reading the comments of others, I feel like many (not all by any means) have a hard time separating the bitterness and resentment they have for the organization from the genuinely kind and caring individuals inside.

        I am NOT saying that people are automatically kind and caring just by virtue of being witnesses.

        But, for example, I have had family members with cancer and the amount of meals and house cleaning and friends who came and sat with the sick ones so we could get a break was amazing.

        And we paid for home health care in addition. I know the monetary value of their time and gifts. I also know the value of emotional support and you can’t put a price on that.

        Our friends helped because they loved us and they’re good people. Being JWs doesn’t mean they’re not good people.

        Are there terrible people inside the organization doing terrible things? Absolutely.

        I’ve met some of them personally, and I continue to read awful experiences online.

        Also, my heart hurts reading about the institutional damage the GB is responsible for on a large scale.

        But none of this means that there are not many good people on the inside who have been deceived.

        And being deceived, and making choices based on false information, while being denied the opportunity to fact-check and cross-reference does not mean an individual is a bad person.

        I’m probably seen as an apologist because I make comments to this effect so often.

        However, even as my contempt for the wrongdoing and hypocrisy of the organization and GB grows, I cannot lump all of the good and caring people I know personally in with all the harsh and uncaring ones that I read about.

        It makes me feel good to see you step in and say that there are genuine people who have a real desire to help.

        I never believed JWs were a solid mass of people who were better than everyone else. I’m not now going to start believing that they are a monolith of evil.

        Personal kindness is real. Unselfish help and self-sacrifice does happen. I have given it and I have received it.

        I think it is a terrible misrepresentation to say that JWs never help anyone in need.

        You are absolutely right to point out that the organization doesn’t help from ‘on high’. But individuals do help on a local level, and regularly, according to their inclination and circumstances.

        I grew up with a SAHM who had the time and luxury to cook meals and buy groceries and toys and new clothes for people in the congregation and Bible students who needed it. And there was always someone who needed it.

        So when we needed help, the favor was returned, and not begrudgingly or out of a sense of obligation.

        My family also donated money and time to outside charities. I completely acknowledge that that is not the norm, but it upsets me to read comments that imply or state outright that unselfish help is NEVER offered to those inside the congregation or out.

        I know there are a lot of missed opportunities and instances of too little too late.

        There were times when my family could have helped save another family from eviction or helped pay a hospital bill or utility bill, and we simply didn’t know of their dire need.

        There should be a discreet way to make this known, that doesn’t embarrass those in need, but still provides a structure for those who want to help to be matched with those who need help.

        We didn’t know in time to help in spite of my father being an elder, and other elders having knowledge of the situation. The elders who knew were unwilling to help personally and neglected to even pass the info along to someone who could.

        Again, it’s institutional. It’s a mindset. My father has often complained about this and been pained that he was denied the opportunity to help on many occasions.

        I know it’s a statistical impossibility that my family is the only family that is this way, or one of only a handful.

        • Caroline says:

          Hi fallingangel75, I am sorry if I gave off the impression that I thought that Witnesses didn’t help when those in the congregation were in need. I personally helped sisters that had cancer and my mother-in-law and father-in-law fell into need in the 1970’s and their congregation got together and got a donation for them for food.

          I think Witnesses are wonderful, caring people. I was a Witness for fifty years and I think most of the Witnesses that I know are some of the nicest people I have ever known and would do anything for me, as long as I was an active Witness.

          Now that I have faded, they ignore me so I know that most of their “love” is conditional but it sure did seem real to me while I was an active Witness.

          I think of those “friends” knew that they were being scammed, they would not ignore me like they are doing but they are really convinced that they are doing the “right” thing by Jehovah and so I can forgive them for that because I did the very same thing when I was also convinced it was the “truth” and I don’t think that I am a bad person.

          My only point was that the Job movie the Society is showing this summer is out of touch with reality and it wasn’t until my husband got chemotherapy that I had any idea just how expensive it is and the Society saying that the congregation took up a donation for them to help cover expenses was lame and somebody without health insurance could be facing hundreds of thousands of dollars in bills (that is if the hospital treats them at all) and any “help” the congregation can give to a person like that, would barely touch their actual “expenses”.

          In the United States, there an awful lot of people who can’t afford health insurance and can’t afford even one expensive visit to the doctor’s office or visits to the dentist and because of that, they don’t visit the doctor or go to the dentist. In the United States, all people have to prove that they are buying health insurance and if they can’t afford it, they are fined by the government. That is the situation in the United States.

          Times are tough here in the United States and to quit a good job with benefits is stupid. That was my only point.

          • fallingangel75 says:

            @ Caroline – I agree with you 100%, both your comments here and above.

            Like many people, I sometimes read the comments bottom to top and/or skip around.

            I read JR’s comment and replied without ever reading yours.

            I was making a broad statement about dozens of other comments I’ve read across dozens of other posts.

            As I was reading backwards and saw your comment, I left another comment on yours to try and clarify that I did not disagree with or take offense to your statements.

            I know intimately the issues you describe. We have fallen on hard times and I have needed to go to the doctor and the dentist multiple times since we lost our insurance.

            I could not pay and I simply had to suck it up and carry on.

            And we have to also pay the penalty for not having insurance even though we lost our insurance because we lost our jobs.

            We literally had zero income for 18 months while both of us looked for work in the fields we have degrees in and other things we could do, but were repeatedly told we were over-qualified for.

            Is there any exemption from the penalty if you are unemployed, ran out of unemployment, spent all of your regular and retirement savings just to live day to day and can prove you were actively looking for work?

            Nope. Still get slapped with the fine (that we have yet to pay, well, because we were already in the hole when it was assessed.)

            So, yes. I totally get what you are saying.

            We did not quit our good jobs to pursue kingdom interests. My husband lost his job due to corruption and office politics same as many people who are not witnesses.

            And I left mine because we had to move out-of-state to stay with family when we could not longer afford the high cost of living in our chosen city.

            Our story is a common one in this country and that has nothing to do with being Witnesses.

            I totally agree that it is a mistake to quit a good job and just trust that Jehovah will provide.

            Non-witnesses quit jobs all the time to pursue other goals: go back to school, start a family, take care of a sick family member, follow a dream, follow a lover, etc.

            There are legitimate reasons for quitting work and illegitimate ones where people fail to plan.

            This is also not unique to Witnesses.

            But I agree, it is ill-advised to quit a good job with benefits and simply trust that Jehovah will take care of everything ‘miraculously’ because you choose to ‘seek kingdom interests first.’

            I have always believed it was irresponsible for the Society to feature individuals and families who did so prominently in the publications and on the assembly programs as if to say that it will always work out well.

            It is unrealistic and out of touch, and never works out in the long run.

            Caroline, I appreciated your comments as well. I’m sorry for the loss of your husband and I hope your daughter will be ok.

          • Caroline says:

            @fallingangel75, I am sorry to hear about how your life has gone.

            Fortunately, my daughter’s boss was out of the office on Friday when she handed in her two week notice and on Monday, when he came in, he asked what it would take for her to stay and she said she wanted her old hours back where she could work from home on Sundays (so she can make her service time) and the company agreed so for now, I am breathing a sigh of relief.

            Thank you for your kind comments about my husband.

            What the Society does to Witnesses’ mindset about pioneering, just makes my blood boil.

            When my husband and I were first married, eventually he had to give up on the idea that he could pioneer and still support us on a part time job and he had to take a factory job at forty hours a week.

            In those days, a young person was made to feel ashamed for taking a forty hour a week job instead of pioneering, working part-time.

            Every person was supposed to pioneer and if you didn’t, you would be looked down on.

            A friend of ours wanted to get out of working in a factory and he took correspondence classes so he could get an office job and he even was made to feel ashamed by doing that. In those days, you would be looked down on even if you took correspondence classes to better your lot in life.

            All our married life, all my husband ever had to say about a college education was bad. Up until he died, there was absolutely nothing that the Society could ever say or do that he wouldn’t have agreed with. I have never agreed with the Society’s stance on higher education and I never will and those movies like the Job movie make me so mad and it would have, even when I was still in the “truth”.

            Anybody who doesn’t pioneer, is made to feel ashamed of himself but yet when somebody is in the congregation who has a good job and good education and money is put on a pedestal.

          • Chantal says:

            @Caroline, as usual you are 100% on target. I too had been a witness for 50 years. I had been a good friend to those in need of comfort. And I had a few good conditional friends as well. But its all over now…..not going to Convention, and I said that i disagreed with views expressed in the videos.

  7. dee2 says:

    @jwreality

    Lofty claims are made about the Bible which is all the more reason why it should be challenged and questioned.
    Some persons view any attempt at this as trashing the Bible – questioning/challenging the Bible is taboo/off-limits/should never be done.

    When I was in high school, my Biology teacher who was a nun, stated that some of the accounts in the Bible are fables and legends and stories about events that did not actually occur. I wish I had listened to her instead of dismissing and demonizing her comment and getting myself entangled with all kinds of eisegesis and hermeneutics in a deluded attempt to defend the one true religion – highly unlikely that such a thing exists given the approximately 40,000 denominations within Christianity.

    I wish more persons were like my Biology teacher. I wish more persons would spend the time to really understand the social worlds in which the Bible was produced, why the various texts in the Bible were written, where they were written, when they were written, who might have written the various texts, what was the audience to whom the various texts were directed, in order to get a good/objective understanding of what the Bible really is.

  8. VictorE says:

    VictorE

    Having been so called raised in the truth, I turned down a career in favor of pioneering. No money, no insurance etc. So when cancer raised its ugly head with no insurance I was stuck. Fortunately, I discovered a life saving web site that shows what you can do. I would like to share to all those who have been suckered by the philosophies of men that leave one vulnerable. Even the bible says that money is a protection. Somehow the Watchtower doesn’t agree with the bible for its poor RF members. You notice they take of themselves though! For those who this could help check out http://WWW.cancertutor.com Four witnesses that I referred there all got cured. One from the second time he had cancer and another after the doctors told them there was nothing more they could do. Hope this helps.

  9. L says:

    Cancer is a terrible illness. As a licensed healthcare provider with years of clinic and hospital experience I know that there are resources for people to get needed treatment and help. It’s called talk to social services. Churches or other charitable organization can help in practical ways and we appreciate that with our patients. Also, if an organisation receives federal dollars they must provide poor relief for emergency and urgent care, which includes cancer.

  10. MJ Bachman says:

    What a nightmare. This walk down memory lane just reinforces how sick and distorted the jw beleive system is. Three days of conventions? We where forced to do 4 ghoulish days when I was growing up in this religion. Oh lets not forget tjose wonderful yearly vacations to the Watchtower… Oh boy… Doesnt every jw child rather go for vacation to Bethel farm instead of Disney?

  11. stephen says:

    the gw is a dangerous cult because of distortions of the bible adding to the word of GOD and telling lies about its translation ie taking words bible verses out of context given by qualified scholars being baptised into old testament name rather than Jesus instead they bring indoctrination not gospel goodnews and bondage to watchtower since they teach jesus is an angel as all angels worshiped him in heaven he was the slain lamb revelation 5 read the whole chapter he who goes round is a robber .